By ROBERT LEE
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON - Rajon Rondo wants to be the best point guard in the NBA.
To him, that means doing whatever he can to make his teammates better. He is a pass first, shoot second guard, and in only his third NBA season, Rondo has become one of the better passers in the league.
Rondo entered last night's action ranked 11th in the NBA in assists, averaging 6.8 dimes per game. The well-rounded guard also averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds.
"My goal is to try to make guys better and get them easy shots," Rondo said. "You have to give them credit because they are making the shots. I'm put them in situations to get easier shots but at the same time, they are [the ones] making the shots."
Rondo's ability to get his teammates open shots has helped the Celtics shoot an impressive 43.6 percent from the field as a team. He helped the Celtics shoot 47.5 percent from the field last season.
Rondo's field goal percentage this season is also up, from 49.2 percent last season, to 55.2 percent this year
"Each year I grow as a player," Rondo said. "I get more comfortable...I'm just being selective in the shots that I take. There are certain areas of the floor that I feel comfortable in, the baseline, the closer floater and layups so I just try to take advantage of the easier opportunities and if not, get my teammates involved."
Last season in the playoffs several teams left Rondo open and challenged him to knock down the 12 to 18 foot jumper. This season he is not settling for jumpers. He is taking the ball to the basket and getting fouled a lot.
Rondo, however, has been struggling at the free throw line. He has only knocked down 46.2 percent of his free throws (12-of-26).
"I don't know what the story is there," Rondo said. "If I knew, I would definitely try to improve it. I'm still working on it. I am going to continue to try and get fouled and attack the rim. I'm not going to shy away from getting fouled because I'll have to make them eventually."
Rondo said that when he practiced shooting free throws during the summer, on average, he would knock down 100 of 112 free throws.